Depauville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
15191 School Street P.O. Box 99
Depauville, NY 13632-0099
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
Adopted: May 5, 1932
Revised: June 2, 1955
Revised: December 5, 1971
Revised: February 5, 1976
Revised: February 5, 1981
Revised: December 7, 1989
Revised: May I, 1997
Revised: Aug 1, 2003
Revised: December 6, 2012
Revised: July 2, 2015
Title and Object
This organization shall be known as the Depauville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. in the town of Clayton Fire District, referred hereafter as “the fire department.”
Its object shall be the preservation of life and property, from and during such fire and emergencies as may occur in its designated response area.
Regular meetings shall be held on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 o'clock P.M.
The officers shall be: a Chief, First Assistant Chief, Second Assistant Chief, Secretary, Treasurer, President, Vice-President, Engineer Foreman, and a Fire Council.
Fire Council shall consist of the secretary and four (4) members of the fire
department in good standing, appointed by the president to run from 1 January
December. The Fire Council will select their chairperson.
Captains and Lieutenants will be appointed by the fire chiefs for terms to run from June 1st through May 31st.
The Chief and President shall appoint such other officers as may be deemed necessary to properly fight fires or carry on the business of the fire department.
Candidates for elected offices shall be active members in good standing, and shall be nominated by the General Membership at the regular monthly meeting in November of each year. The officers shall be elected by ballot at the regular meeting in December of each year. A majority of the votes cast shall be necessary for an election of any candidate to office.
Administrative officers (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer) will take office at the completion of the election.
Line officers (fire chief, first assistant chief, second assistant chief, engineer foreman) will have their names forwarded in nomination to the Town of Clayton Fire District for appointment at the next meeting of the Fire District commissioners, all line officers upon approval will assume office January 1. Should any line officer nomination be rejected by the Fire District commissioners, the fire department will select a new candidate for that office for nomination to the Fire District at the next regularly scheduled fire department meeting.
In the case of a vacancy, it shall be filled by a majority vote at the next regular meeting.
Ten members in good standing shall constitute a quorum. A special meeting may be called by request of ten members. The Secretary shall give such notice of meeting to all members in good standing at least two (2) days in advance of such meeting.
A) Any firefighter with two (2) years in good standing with the fire department may run for Second Assistant Chief.
B) Any firefighter with three (3) years in good standing with the fire department can run for First Assistant Chief.
C) Any firefighter with five (5) years in good standing with the fire department can run for Chief.
D) Any firefighter elected to Chief, First Assistant Chief or Second Assistant chief shall be required to complete the course of Officer Management within one (1) year of election.
E) Any fire fighter with one (1) year in good standing with the fire department can run for Secretary.
F) Any firefighter with two (2) years in good standing with the fire department can run for Treasurer.
G) Any firefighter with three (3) years in good standing with the fire department can run for Engineer Foreman.
H) Any firefighter with two (2) years in good standing with the fire department can be appointed Captain or Lieutenant.
I) Any firefighter with one (1) year in good standing with the fire department can be appointed to the Fire Council.
J) Any firefighter with 5 years in good standing with the Fire Department can run for President or Vice President.
DUTIES OF OFFICERS
The duties of the Chief are:
a) To be responsible for the Fire Station, apparatus, training and firefighting operation. He / She ultimately answers to the Fire District.
b) He / She shall have supreme charge of all fires when present, shall plan the attack and direct the actions of the pumper, the hose and all equipment connected to it.
c) He / She shall make a report at the regular meeting giving the following facts:
1) Date, hour, minute and by whom discovered.
2) Alarm and by whom.
3) Where and how started and cause.
4) General remarks and roll call.
The Chiefs rights and duties at the monthly meeting shall be the same as any other member except as specified above.
It shall be the duty of the First Assistant Chief to carry on the duties of the Chief in his/her absence, or at any other time when so called on by the Chief. His duties shall also include complete training supervision and classification of members, subject to approval of the officers of the fire department.
In the absence of the Chief and the First Assistant Chief, the Second Assistant Chief will assume command. The Second Assistant Chief will be the Occupational Safety and Health manager.
In the absence of the Chief, First Assistant Chief and the Second Assistant Chief at the fire, their duties will fall on the Engineer Foreman.
The duties of the Engineer Foreman are:
To have general supervision of the pumper during a fire; acting under the orders of the Chief or his Assistant, to see that everything is in readiness to start out after the equipment has returned to the Fire Station following a fire. He shall see that a careful inspection of all equipment is made at least once a month and shall report to the Chief immediately, any need there may be for repairs or replacements.
The President is responsible for the operation of the Depauville Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. He / She serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the not-for-profit organization including all fund raising. The president shall have no authority at an incident beyond that conferred to any other member of the department. He / She shall preside at all meetings. The President shall decide all points of order that may arise subject to an appeal from the fire department, Inc. (Such an appeal will demand a majority vote of the members present.)
The President shall appoint such positions as He / she deems necessary to carry on the business of the fire department.
The Vice-President is responsible to carry on the duties of the President in His / Her absence or when called upon by the President.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary to keep a record of all members and to keep a record of all proceedings of the meetings generally. The Secretary shall call roll at each general and special meeting.
It shall be the duty of the treasurer to keep a record of all debts due to, and from the fire department, and to attend to the collection and payment thereof. The Treasurer shall render a full report at the annual meeting. All orders drawn on the treasury shall have the approval of the President or Vice President before being posted. The treasurer shall be bondable.
Duties of the Fire Police:
A) Be properly sworn in by the Town Clerk.
B) Familiarize themselves with the New York State Motor Vehicle Laws pertaining to any and all emergency vehicles and volunteer firefighters.
C) Secure proper identification and equipment.
D) Maintain proper supervision of traffic and bystanders at an emergency so that firefighters and trucks have free and clear passage.
E) Maintain a security watch over real and personal property until relieved by the officer in charge.
Fire Council Duties:
A) Meet as needed prior to all regular meetings.
B) Examine such complaints and petitions as may be referred to the Fire Council by the fire department and report thereon at the next meeting or other specified date.
C) Recommend to the Fire Chief and/or President appropriate discipline, to include suspension or expulsion, of any member found guilty of disobedience, improper conduct, or infraction of these bylaws.
D) Examine, investigate, and submit a written report to the Fire Chief and President on all applicants and transfers.
E) The fire council will review the financial books quarterly.
MEMBERSHIP AND REQUIREMENTS
Non-Discrimination: No person shall be denied, expelled from or subject to discrimination in the terms and conditions of membership by the fire department, its officers, or members, directly or indirectly, because of sex, race, creed, color, national origin, marital status or disability of such person.
Any person 16 years or older shall have the privilege of presenting an application for membership on the fire department. With a favorable report from the fire council, he or she shall be voted on by secret ballot. Majority vote will rule. Any potential member between the age of 16 and 18 must have written parental consent and subject to limitation as may be established.
A) All transfers and reinstatements will be referred to the Fire Council and if they report favorably, will be admitted to the organization.
B) All transfers and reinstatement shall be a member in good standing for a period of one (1) year to be eligible to run for any officer position in addition to all other requirements of that office.
C) Prior service within the Fire District will be carried over as accrued membership service. All copies of attended training shall accompany all transfers.
Upon acceptance, according to the provisions of the article, all new members must enter a probationary period of six (6) months, after which his or her continued membership in the fire department. Is contingent upon a second membership vote. Majority vote will rule.
Proposed members shall be accepted for membership by a ballot at the regular monthly meeting one month after receiving application by a simple majority vote of the members present. There shall be no other qualifications other than the qualifications set forth in Sections one (1), two (2) and three (3) of this Article. Should the application not be approved, such person shall not be permitted to reapply for membership in the fire department. For at least ninety (90) days following said action. After three (3) such rejections, the application of that person will no longer be considered.
Members elected to the fire department. Must attend a minimum of three (3) regular monthly meetings within the six (6) months period fol1owing said election. Failure to comply with this section shal1 cause his name to be stricken from the membership roll. Such person shal1 not be permitted to reapply for membership in the fire department. For at least ninety (90) days fol1owing said action.
Members’ shal1 be required to submit to medical physicals as set forth in the State, County or Local statutes.
Members elected to the Fire Department shall be required to attend Firefighter 1 or Basic Exterior Firefighting Operations (BEFO) or equivalent. New members must have the required physicals within thirty (30) days of membership approval and submitted to the department secretary. Failure to do so will prevent member from any fire department activity until met.
A) Any active, life, or administrative member who has not met the mandatory membership requirements current as of the July regular meeting of the department shall be notified by a letter written by the secretary and sighed by the president and fire chief. This letter shall be sent so as to ensure receipt prior to the regular meeting in August.
B) Any active, life, or administrative member who fails to meet the mandatory membership requirements for the entire membership year shall be notified by registered letter, following the regular meeting in December, as follows
1. Active and administrative members-their membership in the department is terminated. They may appeal this termination in person or in writing at the regular fire department meeting in February the following year.
2. Life Members – their class of membership is changed from Life Member to Retired. They may request reinstatement as a Life Member at any time, subject to the provisions of the bylaws.
CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – Active Member.
Any member of this class must meet all activity requirements set forth in the constitution and bylaws of the fire department. Active members may respond to calls.
Section 2 - Life Member.
A) Life membership is conferred on members attaining 20 years of service to the department.
B) Any member of this class must meet all membership requirement set forth in the constitution and bylaws of the fire department is considered an active member.
C) Life members may respond to calls.
Section 3 - Administrative Member.
A) Any member of the department may request administrative status, which must be confirmed by a majority vote of the members present at a regular monthly meeting.
B) Administrative members must meet established non-response activity requirements.
C) Administrative members may not be issued PPE. They may not respond to calls unless in a non-firefighting support role.
D) Not more than 10% of the total active membership of the organization may hold administrative status.
Section 4 - Retired Member.
A) Any life member may request retired status. No vote by the membership is required for approval, however the request must be presented at a regular monthly meeting.
B) Any life member not meeting established activity requirements for a given year will be moved to retired status.
C) Retired members desiring a return to active status must submit a written request which is subject to a majority vote at the next regular meeting of the fire department.
D) Retired members shall have no rights or privileges of any character by reason thereof except upon invitation of the organization.
Section 5 - Honorary Member.
A) This class of membership can be bestowed on anyone, subject to a majority vote of the members present at a regular monthly meeting.
B) Honorary members shall have no rights or privileges of any character by reason thereof except upon invitation of the organization.
DUTIES OF MEMBERS
The first duty of every member is to obey all commands of his officers while on duty.
Every member shall be in attendance at each regular and special meeting and at emergency incidents, except as otherwise provided for in the bylaws. At the sound of the alarm, each member shall go directly to the Fire Station unless the member is certain that all vehicles and equipment have left, in which case the member shall go directly to the scene of the incident and shall not leave during the time the equipment is in operation unless excused by the Chief or an Assistant Chief, and unless so excused, the member shall report to the Fire Station for roll call upon return of the equipment.
Members will be required to sign in at each meeting attended, by the end of the Treasurer's report to be considered present.
In order to maintain active membership in the department, a member must meet the following requirements:
A) Attend five (5) or more regular or special meetings.
B) Assist with at least one third of the fundraisers occurring during the membership year.
C) Respond to no less than 10% of non-EMS calls occurring during the membership year.
D) Meet all requirements specified in state and federal regulations, as well as Fire Department and Fire District policies.
E) The secretary will cause to be posted each member’s participation data on a quarterly basis.
No member shall leave during the time of a meeting unless excused by the Chair.
The member first reaching the Fire Station after an alarm is sounded shall assume command and must be obeyed until a superior officer arrives.
Any member not able to attend a regular or special meeting because of his or her employment or other bonafide reason shall be excused from the meeting, provided such member informs the Chief or other officer of the fire department of such circumstances, either prior to the meeting or within a reasonable period following his return to the area.
Every member must report at the Fire Station upon the sound of the alarm when he or she is within the limits of the Fire District at the time of the alarm.
Any member willfully failing to abide by the constitution and bylaws of the fire department, shall be subject to disciplinary action as recommended by the majority decision of the Fire Council and Officers. Said recommendation to be subject to appeal and reversal by a majority secret vote of the attending members of the next regular fire department meeting.
CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS
No alterations or amendments shall be made to the Constitution unless proposed in writing at a regular meeting, which amendment shall be referred to a special committee appointed by the Chair, when it shall be read at the next three (3) regular meetings and must have the support of the members in good standing present. Should the committee fail to report, the matter may be considered in a committee of the whole and immediate action taken thereon.
Rules of Order
1. But one member shall be entitled to the floor during the same period of time. He or she must address the Chair and shall not be allowed to speak unless properly recognized by the Chair.
2. No proposition can be voted unless properly moved and seconded and declared open for discussion by the Chair.
3. All questions unless otherwise decided by the By-laws, shall be settled by a majority of the votes cast.
4. When a motion is properly before the organization, it must be disposed of before another can be entertained, nor shall a motion be made subject to more than two (2) amendments.